Derek H. Kiernan-Johnson

Legal Writing Professor
Legal Writing; Appellate Court Advocacy; Judicial Opinion Writing

University of Colorado Law School
428 Wolf Law Building
401 UCB
Boulder, CO  80309-0401
Office: 428
Phone: (303) 492-5863
E-mail: derek.kiernan-johnson@colorado.edu

Curriculum Vitae:  View (PDF format)

Educational Background:
J.D.   Michigan Law School   2000  
B.A.   Princeton University   1997  
Bio:
Derek Kiernan-Johnson studies legal rhetoric and communication, with a focus on narrative theory, constitutive rhetoric, and visual persuasion. Through his teaching he strives to create excitement for the imaginative and expressive possibilities of life in the law.

Derek went to public schools in Boulder, Colorado, and to college at Princeton University. At Princeton, he studied religion, dramatic performance, and music, writing Experiencing Toxcatl: an Ixiptla's Perspective (1996), a study of an Aztec sacrifice from the sacrificee's viewpoint, and Durch Sühn und Buß der Gnade Heil: Suffering and Salvation in the Operas of Richard Wagner (1997). He then studied English cathedral architecture at Wadham College at Oxford University before returning for law school at the University of Michigan. His studies at Michigan focused on constitutional law, education law, and meaning and performance in the law, the last interest of which culminated in Meaning in Miranda (1999).

After law school Derek returned to Colorado to clerk for Justice Michael L. Bender of the Colorado Supreme Court. He practiced law for six years at Caplan and Earnest, LLC, representing public-school clients in general-counsel, transactional, and litigation settings. Derek joined the CU Law faculty in 2007.

Derek enjoys spending time with his family, following UK & European soccer, hiking, cooking, playing billiards, enjoying beverages such as tea, beer, wine, and distillates, and identifying & tracking things like birds, cultural trends, and mammals.

Articles

The Potemkin Temptation or, The Intoxicating Effect of Rhetoric and Narrativity on American Craft Whiskey, 15 Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD 1 (2018).
A Shift to Narrativity, 9 Legal Comm. & Rhetoric 81 (2012).
Telling Through Type: Typography and Narrative in Legal Briefs, 7 J. Ass'n Legal Writing Directors 87 (Fall 2010).

Courses:

Fall 2019 Legal Writing I LAWS 5226-804
Spring 2019 Legal Writing II LAWS 5223-801
Spring 2019 Judicial Opinion Writing LAWS 6236-001
Fall 2018 Legal Writing I LAWS 5226-804
Spring 2018 Legal Writing II LAWS 5223-801
Spring 2018 Judicial Opinion Writing LAWS 6236-001
Fall 2017 Legal Writing I LAWS 5226-801
Spring 2017 Legal Writing II LAWS 5223-802
Spring 2017 Judicial Opinion Writing LAWS 6236-001
Fall 2016 Legal Writing I LAWS 5226-801
Spring 2016 Legal Writing II LAWS 5223-802
Spring 2016 Judicial Opinion Writing LAWS 6236-001
Fall 2015 Legal Writing I LAWS 5226-801
Spring 2015 Legal Writing II LAWS 5223-802
Spring 2015 Legislative and Policy Drafting LAWS 6123-001
Fall 2014 Legal Writing I LAWS 5226-802
Spring 2014 Legal Writing II LAWS 5223-802
Spring 2014 Judicial Opinion Writing LAWS 6236-001
Fall 2013 Legal Writing I LAWS 5226-805
Spring 2013 Legal Writing II LAWS 5223-806
Spring 2013 Judicial Opinion Writing LAWS 6236-001
Fall 2012 Legal Writing I LAWS 5226-806